Drinking Water: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Quality, Says Report

The greatest risks to water quality come from cumulative impacts of extreme weather events that happen sequentially, like a drought followed by a wildfire followed by a flood, says joint Australian-US study. As climate change likely increases the frequency of extreme weather events, resilience must be built into the management of watersheds and water treatment systems for recovery to happen. [Sunday Morning Herald]

Report: Society's Water Safety Net Is Fraying

A new National Research Council report examines possible "tipping points" that might occur if the rate of groundwater pumping rapidly increases. As surface water-scarce regions get drier amidst climate change, early warning water and drought monitoring systems could be necessary to protect precious resources. [Circle of Blue]

Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says

A new economic study found that if the world were to adopt an ambitious series of measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years, it would only cost about 5 percent more than the amount that would likely be spent anyway on new power plants, transit systems and other infrastructure. [New York Times]

GMO Safety, Weed Control Top Concerns as US Study Kicks Off

Concerns around genetically modified (GM) crop safety dominated the first public meeting for a new US-sponsored study underway to examine the impacts of GM crops. Ag experts pointed to pesticide use, weed and insect resistance, and public health issues stating that without solid, third-party evidence for GM safety public mistrust of GM crops will continue. We can't agree more. [Reuters]

Report Highlights Corn Ethanol's Devastating Toll

A new EPA report identified the Renewable Fuel Standard mandate for blending corn-based ethanol into the gasoline supply as a significant cause of pollution in the Gulf of Mexico. Nitrogen and phosphorous applied to corn crops in the Mississippi River basin run off of fields and eventually flow into the gulf where they can cause "dead zones." [AgMag Blog]

People Near 'Fracking' Wells Report Health Woes

A survey of households in Pennsylvania found that people living near natural gas wells were twice as likely to report upper-respiratory and skin problems than those farther away. The study doesn't prove that the wells cause the reported health problems, but air contaminants, water contamination and stress could be factors. [USA Today]

Report: Water Shortages Could Limit Shale Development Across Globe

Shale gas producers shouldn't be worried about anti-fracking activists, they should be worried about water shortages. About 38 percent of the world's shale resources are in countries which are also dealing with high water stress, meaning that water-intensive fracking is butting heads with more traditional uses of water like, say, drinking and growing food. [E2 Wire]

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